David F. Cox, Head Alexander F. Giacco Professor: D.G. Baird Alumni Distinguished Professor and Frank C. Vilbrandt Professor: Y.A. Liu Professors: L.E.K. Achenie; R.M. Davis; W.A. Ducker; E. Kiran Robert H. Hord Jr. Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor: P. Rajagopalan Associate Professors: A.S. Goldstein; A.M. Karim; C. Lu; S.M. Martin; A.R. Whittington Assistant Professors: R. Tong; H. Xin Adjunct Professors: P.L. Durrill; E.G. Joseph; G.E. Keller, II; S.T. Oyama; P.K. Shin;
J.Y. Walz Affiliated Research Faculty: K. Forsten Williams Joseph H. Collie Distinguished Visiting Professor: Peter Rim University Distinguished Professor Emeritus: G.L. Wilkes Professor Emeritus: W.L. Conger; P.R. Rony; J.T. Sullivan; G.B. Wills ChE Co-op Advisor: A.S. Goldstein
Skillful and creative applications of the principles of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathematics, and physics are needed to solve the problems now confronting society. Whether these problems involve energy, food, health, materials or environmental quality, the modern chemical engineer is the professional concerned with finding economically and socially acceptable solutions. The program prepares graduates for employment in a great variety of industries including the chemical, petroleum, biochemicals, pharmaceutical, paper, environmental, fibers, plastics, food, electronics, and consumer product industries. Students may customize their academic program around an industry of their interest by judiciously selecting electives. For example, areas of focus such as polymers, biotechnology, marketing, and environmental chemical engineering are common choices.
The objective of the undergraduate program is to produce chemical engineering graduates who, within five years of completing the BS degree, will be successful in a variety of professional careers, including those outside of traditional chemical engineering fields as evidenced by one or more of the following achievements:
Sustaining a career as a problem solver in engineering or other fields that require analytical skills
Professional advancement in positions of increasing leadership and/or responsibility within their chosen career field
Attainment of an advanced degree or advanced certification leading to a career in engineering or science, business, law, medicine, or academia
Bettering society through professional or personal service
The curriculum has been developed to meet the department goal and the objectives for the graduates. The curriculum is demanding and a GPA of at least 3.0 is recommended for transfer into the program at the sophomore level. An average GPA of at least 2.00 in all ChE courses attempted is required for continued enrollment in the department. The department has specific grade policies for continuation in the program and for graduation. For further information on these policies, please contact the department.
The chemical engineering curriculum integrates studies in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, process control, reaction kinetics, plant and process design, verbal and written communications, and reaction kinetics, along with professional ethics and environmental awareness. Students gain hands-on experience with the equipment described in the courses during the summer Unit Operations Laboratory. The laboratory and the senior design courses are recognized as two of the high points in the undergraduate program. Throughout these studies, the student learns the elements of the design of chemical processes and chemical processing equipment. The experience culminates in participation in a national senior-level design contest. The computer is a necessary tool in all the courses and the same software used in industry is used in the design courses.
In addition to the basic undergraduate program outlined here, more sophisticated and specialized programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering also are offered (see Graduate Catalog).
The department participates in the Cooperative Education Program whereby qualified students may alternate periods of study with periods of professional employment.
A total of 135 semester credits are required for graduation.
The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as “Checksheets”. The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.
The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.
The following are special focus areas students can use as electives. Lists of approved courses for these focus areas are available in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Marketing and Chemical Distribution
As part of progress toward a degree, a student must have a grade of C- or better in all ChE-prefix courses and maintain a minimum in-major GPA of 2.0 or above. If the in-major GPA drops below 2.0 at any time, students will be placed on departmental probation. Students cannot remain on departmental probation for more than two consecutive semesters. In the case that a student has not achieved an in-major 2.0 or better after two semesters, the student is prohibited from registering for any ChE courses for at least one semester and, after that, only with permission of ChE department head. All ChE credits are used to calculate in-major GPA.
Students who plan to co-op should talk with with Dr. Goldstein (339 Kelly Hall) of the ChE department.
For additional information about the Chemical Engineering curriculum, please contact the department head.
The Chemical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
Undergraduate Course Descriptions (CHE)
2004: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE SEMINAR
Career opportunities and current topics of interest in the Chemical Engineering profession. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
2114: MASS AND ENERGY BALANCES
Stoichiometric and composition relationships, behavior of gases, vapor pressures, solubility, mass balances, recycling operations, energy balances, first law of thermodynamics, thermophysics, thermochemistry, fuels and combustion, application to chemical operations. Pre: (MATH 1206 or MATH 1206H or MATH 1226), (CHEM 1036 or CHEM 1036H or CHEM 1056 or CHEM 1056H). (3H,3C)
2124: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SIMULATIONS
Many chemical engineering processes lead to sets of linear and nonlinear algebraic equations. This course will focus on numerical methods for solving these types of problems. In addition, techniques for analyzing data to evaluate different models and to obtain model parameters will be developed. Students will learn how to evaluate whether the information provided is sufficient to solve steady-state material balances frequently encountered in process design. Students will be exposed to both mathematical software as well as process modeling software useful for solving process engineering problems and when each should be utilized. Pre: 2114, (MATH 2224 or MATH 2224H or MATH 2204 or MATH 2204H). (2H,2C)
2164: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS
First and Second Laws, properties fluids, properties of homogeneous mixtures; phase equilibria, chemical-reaction equilibria. Grade of C- or better required in prerequisite CHE 2114. Pre: 2114. Co: CHEM 3615. (3H,3C)
2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
3015-3016: PROCESS MEASUREMENT & CONTROL
3015: Common process measurements; applications to theory and practice of automatic control of chemical processes; 3016: Design and laboratory practice underlying the automatic computer control of chemical processes. Pre: (MATH 4564 or MATH 4544) for 3015; MATH 4564 or MATH 4544 for 3016. Co: 2124, 3184, 3044 for 3015; 2124 for 3016. 3015: (3H,3C) 3016: (1H,3L,2C)
3044: HEAT TRANSFER
One and two dimensional conduction, convection, and diffusion of thermal energy; heat transfer rates, steady state and unsteady state conduction, convection; design of heat exchangers; forced and free convection boiling and condensation. Pre: 2164, 3114, (MATH 4544 or MATH 4564). (2H,2C)
3114: FLUID TRANSPORT
Fluid statics, surface tension, fluid dynamics, Newton's Law of viscosity, momentum transport, laminar and turbulent flow, velocity profiles, flow in pipes, flow around objects, non-Newtonian fluids, design of piping systems, pumps and mixing. Pre: 2114, PHYS 2305, (MATH 2204 or MATH 2224). Co: MATH 4564. (3H,3C)
3134: SEPARATION PROCESSES
Binary separations and multicomponent separations, distillation, batch distillation, extraction, absorption, McCabe-Thiele and Ponchon Savaret methods, short cut methods, design of plate columns, plate and column efficiencies. Pre: 2114, (CHEM 3615 or CHE 2164). (3H,3C)
3144: MASS TRANSFER
Multidimensional molecular diffusion and convection of single and multi-component systems; mass transfer rates; steady state, quasi-steady state and transient mass transfer; effect of reactions on mass transfer; convective mass transfer coefficients; design of stage and continuous gas/liquid contractors, membrane, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid separation processes, artificial kidney and drug delivery systems. Pre: 3114, 2164, (MATH 4544 or MATH 4564). (3H,3C)
3184: CHEMICAL REACTOR ANALYSIS AND DESIGN
Power-law rate expressions, kinetic data, rate constants, Arrhenius equation, design of reactors, reactor behavior. Pre: 2164, (MATH 2214 or MATH 2214H or MATH 4544). Co: 3144, 3044. (3H,3C)
4014: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY
Practical experience in the planning of experimentation, gathering of experimental data, interpretation of data, and the preparation of written and oral reports. Use of small scale processing equipment. Applications include momentum transfer, heat transfer, mass transfer, and chemical reaction. Use of automatic control and data acquisition. Grade of C- or better in all CHE prefix courses and in-major GPA of 2.0 or better are required. Pre: 3015, 3044, 3134, 3144, 3184, ENGL 3764. (15L,5C)
4104: PROCESS MATERIALS
Basics of materials science as it relates to the interest of the chemical engineer. The course emphasizes the three fundamental areas of material science being polymer materials, metallics, and ceramic/inorganic glasses. The general molecular structure property – application behavior of each area will be presented but with a focus when possible on topics related to the field of chemical engineering. Pre: 2164, (CHEM 2535 or CHEM 2565). (3H,3C)
4134: CHEMICAL PROCESS MODELING
Mathematical modeling of chemical processes, application of numerical techniques to the solution of equations, use of a programming language to write programs for calling numerical subroutines, numerical solutions of problems resulting in partial differential equations. Pre: 2124, 3114. Co: 3044, 3184, 3144. (2H,2C)
4144 (MKTG 4144): BUSINESS AND MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR THE PROCESS INDUSTRIES
Business strategies and industrial marketing concepts, and their application in the chemical, pharmaceutical and related process industries. The course is designed for engineers and other students planning a career in the process industries. Junior standing required. Pre: ECON 2005. (3H,3C)
4185-4186: PROCESS AND PLANT DESIGN
Chemical process synthesis and plant design, economic analysis of alternative processes, process equipment design and specifications, computer-aided process design and simulation, design case studies, application of scientific and engineering knowledge to practical design problems. Grade of C- or better in all CHE prefix courses and in-major GPA of 2.0 or better is required. Pre: 3144, 3134, 3184, 3044, 4014 for 4185; 4185 for 4186. (4H,4C)
4214: INTRODUCTION TO POLYMER MATERIALS
Basics of polymeric materials including description and categorization of macromolecules; characterization; mechanical properties; rubbery, glassy, crystalline, and viscous flow behavior. Pre: CHEM 2536, CHE 2164. (3H,3C)
4224: INTRODUCTION TO POLYMER PROCESSING
Basic principles of momentum and heat transfer applied to the analysis of polymer processing operations. Introduction to polymer rheology. Pre: 3144, 3044. (3H,3C)
4304 (ME 4344): BIOLOGICAL TRANSPORT PHENOMENA
Engineering analysis and predictive modeling of heat and mass transport in biological systems (e.g., tissues, organs, organisms, and biomedical devices). Examination of processes that involve conduction, convection, diffusion, generation/ consumption. Application of analytical and computational methods to solve differential equations that describe unsteady and/or multi-dimensional transport. Topics include oxygen transport, pharmacokinetic analysis, kidney function, blood perfusion, burns, and cryopreservation. Pre: (3114, 3044, 3144) or (ME 3304, ME 3404) or (CHE 3114, CHE 3044, CHE 3144) or (ME 3304, ME 3404). (3H,3C)
4334: INTRO COLLOID INTERFACE SCI
Properties and behavior of colloidal systems, primarily in liquid environments. Size characterization and description, Brownian motion, interparticle forces, dispersion stability, and experimental techniques for characterizing these systems. Pre: 2164, 3144. (3H,3C)
4544 (BSE 4544): PROTEIN SEPARATION ENGINEERING
Concepts, principles and applications of various unit operations used in protein separations. Properties of biological materials, such as cells and proteins, and their influences on process design. Design of processes for protein purification based on the impurities to be eliminated. Concepts and principles of scale-up of unit operations. Case studies in practical protein recovery and purification issues, with a focus on enhanced protein purification by genetic engineering. Protein purification process simulation and optimization using process simulation software. Pre: BSE 3504 or CHE 3144. (3H,3C)
4904: PROJECT AND REPORT
Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.
4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.